0709-20 NY Times Crossword 9 Jul 20, Thursday

Constructed by: Joe Kidd
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): Disc-O

Themed answers each include disc-like objects in rebus squares in the grid:

  • 19A Sounds a bit off : DOESN’T RING TRUE
  • 5D Network of secret agents : SPY RING
  • 26A Hora, for one : CIRCLE DANCE
  • 26D Unite in defense : CIRCLE THE WAGONS
  • 49A Colorful bit of cereal : FROOT LOOP
  • 10D Caught off guard : THREW FOR A LOOP
  • 55A Offer at the bar : THIS ROUND IS ON ME
  • 57D Bring to fullness : ROUND OUT

… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 11m 11s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

13 Off the wall : LOCO

In Spanish, if one isn’t “sano” (sane) one might be described as “loco” (crazy).

14 Solheim Cup org. : LPGA

The Solheim Cup is a golf tournament held every second year in which teams from Europe and the US compete. It is the female equivalent to the Ryder Cup and is held in alternating years with the male tournament. The tournament is named for Karsten Solheim, a Norwegian-born golf club manufacturer who led the effort to establish the competition. Solheim equipment is sold under the brand name of PING.

18 Rugby formation : SCRUM

If you’ve ever seen a rugby match, you’ll recognize the “scrum”, where the players designated as “forwards” bind together and push against the forwards on the opposing team. It’s a way of restarting the game after various types of stoppages. Scrum is short for “scrummage”, which in itself is a variation of “scrimmage”. And “scrimmage” has its roots in the word “skirmish”. If you get the chance, take a look at the Matt Damon-Morgan Freeman movie called “Invictus”, directed by Clint Eastwood. It’s all about rugby in South Africa after Nelson Mandela came to power. A powerful film …

22 Word containing itself twice : ESS

There are two letters S (ess) in the word “ess”.

23 Some tech sch. grads : EES

Electrical engineer (EE)

26 Hora, for one : CIRCLE DANCE

The hora is a circle dance that originated in the Balkans. It was brought to Israel by Romanian settlers, and is often performed to traditional, Israeli folk songs. The hora (also horah) is a regular sight at Jewish weddings. Sometimes the honoree at an event is raised on a chair during the hora.

32 Collection of five books : TORAH

The Torah, the first five books of the Hebrew Bible, are traditionally believed to have been written by Moses. As such, they are sometimes referred to as the Law of Moses, or Mosaic Law. Those five books are:

  • Bereshit/Genesis
  • Shemot/Exodus
  • Vayikra/Leviticus
  • Bamidbar/Numbers
  • Devarim/Deuteronomy

34 Grimm creature : GNOME

In English folklore, the fairy’s anti-hero is the diminutive gnome, an evil ugly character. Although the charastics of gnomes vary in folklore, typically they are described as diminutive humanoids who live underground. Over the centuries, the gnome has become more lovable. We now have garden gnomes, and even the Travelocity Gnome.

The Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) were two German academics noted for collecting and publishing folk tales. Among the tales in their marvelous collection are “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”, “Sleeping Beauty” and “Cinderella”.

37 Folk singer Phil : OCHS

Phil Ochs was an American protest singer who was active in the days of the Vietnam War. Sadly, the singer’s mental health declined at the very time the war was winding down. Saigon fell in 1975, and Ochs committed suicide in 1976.

39 French beans? : TETES

In French, the “tête” (head) is the top of “le corps” (the body).

49 Colorful bit of cereal : FROOT LOOP

Froot Loops (ugh!) is a breakfast cereal from Kellogg’s that has been around since 1963. The little loops come in different colors, originally red, orange and yellow, but now there are green, purple and blue loops as well. Notice I said “different colors” not “different flavors”. Each loop tastes the same, so I wonder where the color comes from …?

51 Edwardian-era transport : HANSOM

A hansom cab is a very specific design of horse and buggy that was patented by Joseph Hansom in 1834 in England. The “cab” in the name is short for “cabriolet”, an earlier design of carriage on which the hansom was based. It’s from “hansom cab” that we get our modern term “cab”.

The Edwardian era in the UK started with the death of Queen Victoria in 1901 and the succession to the throne of her son, King Edward VII. The period was known for increased interest in women’s suffrage and continued industrial development. The era ended with the death of the king in 1910, and was soon followed by the catastrophe that was the First World War.

54 It “comes on little cat feet,” per Carl Sandburg : FOG

Carl Sandburg was a writer from Galesburg, Illinois. Sandburg won two Pulitzers for poetry, and one for a biography titled “Abraham Lincoln: The War Years”.

Down

2 Lawn care brand : TORO

Toro is a manufacturer of lawn mowers and snow removal equipment that is based in Bloomington, Minnesota. The company was founded in 1914 to build tractor engines.

9 Like Claritin, for short : OTC

Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs don’t need a prescription (Rx).

Claritin is a Bayer brand name for the drug loratadine, which is used to treat allergies.

11 Grinch’s creator : SEUSS

The Grinch is the title character in Dr. Seuss’s 1957 children’s book “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” He is a grouchy creature who lives as a hermit in a cave outside the town of Whoville. The Grinch’s only companion is his dog Max. Based on Seuss’s hero, we now use the term “grinch” for someone who is opposed to Christmas festivities or who is coarse and greedy in general.

12 SALT component : ARMS

There were two rounds of Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT) between the US and the Soviet Union, and two resulting treaties (SALT I & SALT II). The opening round of SALT I talks were held in Helsinki as far back as 1970, with the resulting treaty signed by President Richard Nixon and General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev in 1972. Brezhnev also signed the SALT II treaty, with President Jimmy Carter in 1979.

21 German city where Einstein was born : ULM

Ulm is a city in the south of Germany that sits on the River Danube. Ulm is famous as home to the tallest church in the world, Ulm Minster, a Gothic building with a steeple that is 530 feet tall, with 768 steps to climb. Ulm is also the birthplace of Albert Einstein, and is where the entire Austrian army surrendered to Napoleon after the Battle of Ulm in 1805.

36 2003 Will Ferrell comedy : ELF

“Elf” is a comedy movie that was released for the 2003 Christmas season. “Elf” was directed by Jon Favreau and stars Will Ferrell in the title role, with James Caan supporting and Ed Asner playing Santa Claus. It’s all about one of Santa’s elves who finds out he is human and goes to meet his father in New York City.

Will Ferrell is a comedian and comic actor from Irvine, California who got his big break as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” (SNL) in the mid-nineties. While appearing on SNL, Ferrell was noted for several impersonations, including President George W. Bush, Neil Diamond, James Lipton, Ted Kennedy and Janet Reno.

43 “___ is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice”: William Jennings Bryan : DESTINY

William Jennings Bryan was an American politician. He was a noted figure in the Democratic Party, and Secretary of State under President Woodrow Wilson. Bryan ran for US president three times, unsuccessfully of course. But he was a great orator, and used his skill to great effect in his campaigning. In fact, it was Bryan who created the national stumping tour, traveling around the country making hundreds of speeches, in days when the other candidates stayed at home.

48 “How could I be so silly?!” : D’OH!

“The Simpsons” is one of the most successful programs produced by the Fox Broadcasting Company. Homer Simpson’s catchphrase is “D’oh!”, which became such a famous exclamation that it has been included in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) since 2001. “D’oh!” can be translated as “I should have thought of that!”

50 Cheap : TWO-BIT

The American quarter is a little unusual in the world of decimal currency, if you think about it. Most currencies have a “20-cent” coin, which is easier to work with mathematically. The US went for the quarter in deference to the practice of dividing Spanish Milled Dollars into eight wedge-shaped “bits”. That’s also why the quarter is sometimes referred to as “two bits”. We’ve been using the adjective “two-bit” to mean “cheap, tawdry” at least since 1929. State quarters were introduced in 1999.

51 Bud : HOMIE

“Homie” is short for “homeboy”, someone from one’s home neighborhood.

52 Capital of Belarus : MINSK

Minsk is the capital of Belarus, formerly known as the Byelorussian Soviet Socialist Republic. One of Minsk’s more infamous residents was Lee Harvey Oswald, who lived there from 1960 to 1962.

56 Rig : SEMI

A “semi” is a “semi-trailer truck”. The vehicle is so called because it consists of a tractor and a half-trailer. The half-trailer is so called because it only has wheels on the back end, with the front supported by the tractor.

59 Mojito garnish : MINT

A mojito is a Cuban cocktail, although the exact origins appear to be unclear, as does the derivation of the name. Want one? Put 4 mint leaves in a glass, and add the juice of half a lime and a teaspoon of powdered sugar. Muddle the ingredients, smashing them together with a muddler or a spoon. Add some crushed ice, two ounces of white rum and stir. Top with a couple of ounces of club soda, and garnish with a sprig of mint and/or a slice of lime. Cheers!

60 If-then counterpart : ELSE

In the world of computer programming, an “if-then-else” construct is a type of conditional statement. The idea is that IF a particular condition is met THEN a particular action is executed. The additional ELSE statement can be used to define an alternative action.

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 Attempt : STAB
5 Test the water? : SIP
8 “___ luck!” : LOTSA
13 Off the wall : LOCO
14 Solheim Cup org. : LPGA
15 Choice on many surveys : OTHER
16 Writes “millenium” or “accomodate,” e.g. : ERRS
17 Checked out : EYED
18 Rugby formation : SCRUM
19 Sounds a bit off : DOESN’T RING TRUE
22 Word containing itself twice : ESS
23 Some tech sch. grads : EES
24 Bending pipes : ELBOWS
26 Hora, for one : CIRCLE DANCE
29 Put in a snit : MIFF
30 Gymnasium equipment : MAT
32 Collection of five books : TORAH
34 Grimm creature : GNOME
37 Folk singer Phil : OCHS
39 French beans? : TETES
41 ___ tradition : ORAL
42 Lipizzaner, e.g. : STEED
44 Effort : DOING
46 Response to “Who’s a good boy?” : ARF!
47 Something you don’t want in the bed : WEED
49 Colorful bit of cereal : FROOT LOOP
51 Edwardian-era transport : HANSOM
53 ___ deal : RAW
54 It “comes on little cat feet,” per Carl Sandburg : FOG
55 Offer at the bar : THIS ROUND IS ON ME
61 Face of modern technology : EMOJI
63 Vividly colored : NEON
64 Fume : BOIL
65 Bit of bedding : LINEN
66 Puffed up : SMUG
67 Stops on the road : INNS
68 Quick to anger : TESTY
69 Word with press or mess : … KIT
70 Lug along : TOTE

Down

1 Travel tirelessly? : SLED
2 Lawn care brand : TORO
3 One of many for a ranch : ACRE
4 Told what to do : BOSSED
5 Network of secret agents : SPY RING
6 “Can ___ an amen?” : I GET
7 Spanish clergyman : PADRE
8 Be routed : LOSE BIG
9 Like Claritin, for short : OTC
10 Caught off guard : THREW FOR A LOOP
11 Grinch’s creator : SEUSS
12 SALT component : ARMS
14 Negative response to “Shall we?” : LET’S NOT
20 Straight up : NEAT
21 German city where Einstein was born : ULM
25 ___ importance (trivial) : OF NO
26 Unite in defense : CIRCLE THE WAGONS
27 Believability, for short : CRED
28 Consume, biblically : EAT OF
30 Calendar pgs. : MOS
31 Quit stalling : ACT
33 One who has it coming? : HEIR
35 Damage : MAR
36 2003 Will Ferrell comedy : ELF
38 Perceived : SEEN
40 Sound followed by a whistle, in cartoons : SNORING
43 “___ is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice”: William Jennings Bryan : DESTINY
45 Dress like : GO AS
48 “How could I be so silly?!” : D’OH!
50 Cheap : TWO-BIT
51 Bud : HOMIE
52 Capital of Belarus : MINSK
54 Perceived : FELT
56 Rig : SEMI
57 Bring to fullness : ROUND OUT
58 Bad thing to do : NO-NO
59 Mojito garnish : MINT
60 If-then counterpart : ELSE
62 Travel quickly : JET

6 thoughts on “0709-20 NY Times Crossword 9 Jul 20, Thursday”

  1. 17:18. First rebus I got was LOOP so I blithely filled in each circle with LOOP – that was WAY too easy. Soon found the error of my ways as I filled in more of the grid. Also had FRUIT before FROOT, AGRO before TORO. Still seem to be having a very good week. Friday looms.

  2. 11:25, no errors. Only misstep: After getting the first “RING”, I briefly thought that’s what was needed for all of the rebuses, and it took me a minute or two to notice that “RING DANCE” and “RING THE WAGONS” somehow didn’t … how to say this … have the right sort of … “RING” … 😜.

  3. And, as so often happens (due to my ineptitude at one-finger typing on my iPad), someone was typing a post at the same time as I was and finished ahead of me.

    Interesting that @Ron and I had a similar problem with the rebuses … 🙂.

    And now … let’s see if someone else gets ahead of me on this post … 😜.

  4. 41:12 Amazingly(for me) figured out the rebuses and had the bulk of the puzzle done in 20 minutes. The next twenty minutes was my inability to recognize that the correct answer was “Froot”, not “Fruit”….but I was always a “Tricks”….er….”Trix” kid anyway 🙂

  5. 20:04, no errors. Like @Ron F and @DuncanR, I had a problem with FRUIT VS FROOT. For some strange reason I has a horrible time with the NW corner. Circled (see what I did?) all the way around and finally got it. In retrospect it seemed easy so I don’t know what happened. Similar to @DuncanR I had most of the puzzle done at around 12 minutes and spent another 8 on FROOT and the last corner.

  6. 17:35. I managed both of the above errors although I never actually filled in LOOP for all the circles; I just looked at the possible answers that way until I got a second one. AND I also had FRUIT before figuring out FROOT along with a coinciding New Deal before RAW Deal. I guess I was too excited to eat FROOT LOOPS to ever learn how to spell it.

    Easy and tricky at the same time. Still catching up on these after a 6 day hiatus. “Only” Friday and Saturday to go.

    Best –

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.